My hike to Glacier Basin was my first ever hike alone. It was both exhilarating and a bit unnerving. Being left to my own thoughts, was exactly what I needed. Knowing the push and the drive to move forward was up to me, was a challenge. The beauty, the air, the mountains, the hours in awe... were all mine. My mind was free to wander. It was free to work out challenges. It was free to measure myself. It was free to feel small. More than anything, as I sat on a small hill looking at the glacier, it was free to feel proud.
When I hike with friends, the conversation pushes you forward. You talk of life and the trail. Here on this trail, I was consumed with my own thoughts. Some people may fear these moments, but I've come to cherish them. So very rarely in our lives are we consumed with silence. Very rarely are we left to our own devices. Life, as most of us know it, is loud and consuming. It is motion. Hiking alone was about silencing the crowd and the noise. It was about discovering some sense of myself lost in the chaos.
On this blog, I've talked about a possible solo hike down the California Coastal Trail which runs the length of the state. In some small way, this trail was practice. While fear of the unknown is keeping me from committing to the hike, this trip let me know it is possible. This trip let me know fellow hikers are some of the nicest people in the world. On this solo adventure, I learned no matter how we try, a society of good and caring people will develop. We just have to be open to it.
I also learned a lesson that has played out over and over again in my life, "Experiences are meant to be shared." Vistas, the quiet, the calm and those moments which take our breath away are meant to be shared. We shuffle for our phones or cameras to capture moments, because we feel the need to share. We need someone else to be there with us. We need people to awe, comment and show concern. This may be the most concrete lesson of the human condition; we are not meant to do this thing alone.
Finally, I walked away with this lesson. I want to live a life defined by these moments. I want a life consumed with more than things or wealth. I want a life filled with experiences. On my deathbed, it is these moments I will value not the temporary joy felt by filling my home with marks of my status. I want my life to be filled with stories, culture and people. The only way to collect these moments is to get out there and see the world even if it means flying solo.
Thanks for entering my world,